Cordele sawmill faces possible fine after arm amputation

A Cordele sawmill faces a possible $56,000 fine stemming from the amputation of a man’s arm in January.

The 29-year-old temporary worker’s jacket became caught in the drive shaft of a conveyor belt at the mill, operated by Griffin Lumber & Hardware. U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration inspectors subsequently found that sprocket wheels and chains on a conveyor belt were unguarded, placing workers at risk for amputations, according to a news release.

Griffin Lumber was issued a citation and has 15 days to respond before facing the possible fine. Since 2013, the company has been inspected three times, and citations have been issued for unsafe forklift usage, unguarded machinery and other hazards, according to the release.

The injured man was employed by Labor Finders, a staffing agency, but Griffin Lumber was responsible for workers’ supervision, training and direction. OSHA didn’t issue a citation to Labor Finders, according to the release.